A cup of tea
Post #1459 • February 22, 2010, 10:03 AM • 92 Comments
Posting threatens to be light and commentary just about absent over the next three weeks. A series of projects has presented itself, each one of which could be a fruitful opportunity to either make art, or do something to support it. I'm keeping details to myself for the time being, but don't mind mentioning the one I'm in the midst of: an e-commerce site for my work built on the Django framework. I've been threatening to do something along these lines for about a year now, and my art-making and programming skills have finally coalesced to a degree that makes this possible. Of all the ideas posited by Artblog.net commenters and yours truly that might make the world a better place for the art we prefer, the possibility of artists taking responsibility for the sale of their own art - an idea endorsed and thoroughly thought through by Caroll Michels - looks like the most viable. The legwork involved is not worse than what one has to go through to garner attention from the usual channels, and allows for greater autonomy from them and all else.
Will it work? Who knows? But back in California I co-taught a basic illustration class, and we used How to Grow as an Illustrator as one of the textbooks. The author is not one of the greats of illustration, and I'm sure he'd admit as much. But the book made clear that whatever his talents, he had out-organized just about everyone else in the field. Organization requires no talent, just a certain tolerance for boredom that artists tend not to have in any appreciable supply.
One can make it into something profound, though, through mindfulness. Yesterday I attended a tea ceremony at the teahouse of Kaji Aso Studio at the invitation of David Richardson. I have much to say about this, and a hundred details to write down before I forget them, but the high point was drinking superlative matcha from a 1300-year-old bowl. I emerged with a happy sobriety that I have not often felt in the last few years of movement and searching. I saw how to turn the ordering of details into something life-affirming.